Installing Ceramic Wall Tile – What You Need to Know

Installing ceramic wall tile is done by many handy people. It’s often left to the pros, but that’s mainly because it seems to be too tricky. People have been installing ceramic tile for hundreds of years. The pro tricks are mainly useful for going faster. Take your time and installing tile is not that hard. You can learn many of the pro tricks too.

The real key to a successful tile project is getting started right. That means you need a plan for where you’ll put tiles and where you’ll make the cuts. Get started right and the hardest part is done.

Before the first tile is set make sure you have a firm foundation. A tile wall is brittle. If the base for the tile moves then the tile or the grout are likely to break. Often an easy way to get a rigid base is to put up cement board as a base. Apply cement board and you have a rigid surface that accepts adhesive well too. With a good base, it’s time to decide where the first tile goes.

Usually on wall tiles, the first row is set up close to the floor. Mark a horizontal line to make the first course of tiles level. This line should be at a point that allows for cutting tiles to fit below the first course. The easiest way to get the first course straight is to nail a straight board in place horizontally to act as a guide.

Then you need a vertical mark to decide where that first tile goes. Place tiles along the guide board to see how the tiles will be cut to fit on the ends. Move tiles around until you get the best fit. Remember to allow for grout lines.

Getting a solid base and measuring are the keys to getting started with a tile project. Getting the first tile in the right position is the most critical part of a project. It takes some time and some thought, but it isn’t hard. Now there are a few tricks that make layout easier. It’s especially helpful if you can see the layout done at least the first time you try it.